Start & SitOctober 25, 2007

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Week 8

By Nick Hopkins

In Week 7, we saw Tom Brady’s Patriots and Peyton Manning’s Colts continue their dominance, as the former stayed on pace to top the latter’s record for touchdown passes in a season. (Seriously? 27 touchdowns? In 7 games? Sheeesh). Wes Welker, Sage Rosenfels, and Kenny Watson all had big, multiple-touchdown days as well. I can’t say I would have predicted that at the start of the season (And I saw two of those guys – Rosenfels and Watson – play with my Redskins back in the day. That’s always fun to see…). Even kickers were well represented in fantasy box scores, as the Titans’ Rob Bironas nailed an NFL-record eight field goals in Tennessee’s thrilling win against Houston. The Cafe’s Week 8 Start & Sit is here to provide some analysis of Week 8’s matchups, after a crazy Week 7. And don’t forget: six more teams have byes this week, so leave all Ravens, Falcons, Cardinals, Cowboys, Chiefs, and Seahawks out of your starting lineup!

Our system is based on two separate rankings: Risk and Reward. Each player or defense was given a statistical ranking for each of the two categories.

Risk is determined by anything that could negatively affect the player in question’s performance. This includes such things as matchup, situation, and injuries.

Reward is determined by anything that could positively affect the player in question’s performance. This includes such things as talent, matchup, and situation.

The Ranking for the two categories is as follows:

Risk: Score of 0 being the lowest risk, 10 being the highest risk.
Reward: Score of 0 being lowest reward, 10 being the highest reward.


Tom Brady – NEvs WAS16.52.99.4
Peyton Manning – INDat CAR16.12.78.8
Ben Roethlisberger – PITat CIN14.83.07.8
Derek Anderson – CLEat STL14.23.27.5
Eli Manning – NYGat MIA13.63.97.5
Donovan McNabb – PHIat MIN13.43.46.8
Brian Griese – CHIvs DET13.33.56.9
Jon Kitna – DETat CHI13.24.07.2
Jay Cutler – DENvs GB13.03.86.9
Carson Palmer – CINvs PIT12.84.47.2
Drew Brees – NOat SF12.84.06.8
Jeff Garcia – TBvs JAC12.64.26.8
Philip Rivers – SDvs HOU12.14.06.1
Trent Edwards – BUFat NYJ12.04.16.0
Brett Favre – GBat DEN11.94.76.6
Chad Pennington – NYJvs BUF11.54.66.0
Daunte Culpepper – OAKat TEN11.24.55.7
Cleo Lemon – MIAvs NYG10.65.05.6
Vince Young – TENvs OAK10.15.55.7
Sage Rosenfels – HOUat SD10.05.55.5
Jason Campbell – WASat NE9.95.95.8
Marc Bulger – STLvs CLE9.95.05.0
Alex Smith – SFvs NO9.95.04.9
Vinny Testaverde – CARvs IND9.15.95.0
Matt Schaub – HOUat SD9.15.64.6
Kelly Holcomb – MINvs PHI7.66.13.7
Kerry Collins – TENvs OAK7.26.84.0
Quinn Gray – JACat TB7.06.63.5
Gus Frerotte – STLvs CLE6.56.73.3

Derek Anderson, CLE (14.2 rating): Anderson has been one of the league’s nicest fantasy surprises this season, with 14 touchdowns through his first six games. In his last game two weeks ago, Anderson threw three touchdowns with no interceptions against the Miami Dolphins. Now he is fresh off a bye week with a game against the NFL’s other winless team, the St. Louis Rams. The Rams’ defense is 27th in the league in points allowed. Derek Anderson should have another nice week, and continue prompting fans in Cleveland to ask: “Brady Quinn who?”

Vince Young, TEN (10.1 rating): Has the Madden curse struck again? Vince Young has had a disappointing sophomore season thus far with only three touchdowns to six interceptions. He is going to start this week against a solid Oakland defense, but he will likely still be feeling the lingering effects of the quad injury he suffered against Tampa Bay. Give Young a week to see how he has recovered from his injury before inserting him back into your lineup.

Running BacksOpponentRatingRiskReward
LaDainian Tomlinson – SDvs HOU16.92.19.0
Willie Parker – PITat CIN16.52.28.8
Marshawn Lynch – BUFat NYJ15.12.67.7
Joseph Addai – INDat CAR14.93.58.3
Brandon Jacobs – NYGat MIA14.53.17.6
Reggie Bush – NOat SF14.52.97.4
Adrian Peterson – MINvs PHI14.33.88.0
Thomas Jones – NYJvs BUF13.93.27.1
Brian Westbrook – PHIat MIN13.83.97.7
Frank Gore – SFvs NO13.73.87.5
Travis Henry – DENvs GB13.53.57.0
Steven Jackson – STLvs CLE13.44.27.7
Kevin Jones – DETat CHI12.73.76.4
LenDale White – TENvs OAK12.44.26.6
Earnest Graham – TBvs JAC12.34.16.4
Cedric Benson – CHIvs DET12.34.26.5
Clinton Portis – WASat NE12.14.76.9
Derrick Ward – NYGat MIA12.04.05.9
Kenton Keith – INDat CAR11.84.56.2
Maurice Jones-Drew – JACat TB11.65.16.7
Brian Leonard – STLvs CLE11.54.25.8
Jason Wright – CLEat STL11.54.96.3
Kenny Watson – CINvs PIT11.44.96.2
LaMont Jordan – OAKat TEN11.45.46.8
DeShawn Wynn – GBat DEN11.34.76.0
Jamal Lewis – CLEat STL11.35.26.5
Laurence Maroney – NEvs WAS11.04.95.9
Najeh Davenport – PITat CIN10.94.45.3
DeShaun Foster – CARvs IND10.94.75.5
Jesse Chatman – MIAvs NYG10.85.36.0
Fred Taylor – JACat TB10.74.65.3
DeAngelo Williams – CARvs IND10.64.95.4
Selvin Young – DENvs GB10.25.35.5
Chris Henry – TENvs OAK10.25.55.7
Chester Taylor – MINvs PHI10.05.05.1
Leon Washington – NYJvs BUF9.85.14.9
Vernand Morency – GBat DEN9.75.24.9
Michael Turner – SDvs HOU9.45.14.5
Ahman Green – HOUat SD9.45.44.8
Kevin Faulk – NEvs WAS9.35.44.8
Reuben Droughns – NYGat MIA9.24.63.9
Brandon Jackson – GBat DEN9.05.84.8
Michael Bennett – TBvs JAC9.05.94.9
Aaron Stecker – NOat SF9.05.24.2
Adrian Peterson – CHIvs DET8.95.34.2
Correll Buckhalter – PHIat MIN8.36.04.3
Anthony Thomas – BUFat NYJ8.15.03.1
Chris Brown – TENvs OAK8.06.14.1
Justin Fargas – OAKat TEN7.46.64.0
Patrick Cobbs – MIAvs NYG7.26.73.9
Jerome Harrison – CLEat STL7.16.33.4
Rudi Johnson – CINvs PIT7.07.04.0
Tatum Bell – DETat CHI6.86.43.1
Ladell Betts – WASat NE6.77.03.7
Greg Jones – JACat TB6.56.32.8
Ron Dayne – HOUat SD6.47.13.6
Michael Robinson – SFvs NO6.37.03.3
TJ Duckett – DETat CHI6.26.52.7
Tony Hunt – PHIat MIN4.97.62.5

Marshawn Lynch, BUF (15.1 rating): Lynch has had a nice rookie season, and has subsided any worries that he would not be the clear cut #1 RB. Lynch has had 20 or more carries in 4 straight games now. He has also had a touchdown in 4 of his 6 games. He has yet to top 100 yards, but he has a great chance to do just that this week against the New York Jets. The Jets are 27th in the NFL in rushing defense, at 138.0 yards per game.

Laurence Maroney, NE (11.0 rating): Maroney has run well when he’s been on the field this year, but he just has not really gotten much of a chance to get on a roll, due to an injury he suffered early in the season. Then again, the Patriots have not really needed him, as they have been carried by Tom Brady, Randy Moss, and the passing game. The Redskins rushing defense is 5th in the league, so I expect that the Patriots will rely on the passing game once again, as Maroney continues to work back into form. He’s not a terrible start, but if you have other options I would certainly look into them.

Wide ReceiversOpponentRatingRiskReward
Braylon Edwards – CLEat STL15.72.07.7
Reggie Wayne – INDat CAR15.43.08.4
Plaxico Burress – NYGat MIA15.43.28.6
Laveranues Coles – NYJvs BUF15.32.98.1
Randy Moss – NEvs WAS15.13.48.6
Kevin Curtis – PHIat MIN15.13.08.1
Chad Johnson – CINvs PIT14.83.78.5
Jerricho Cotchery – NYJvs BUF14.73.17.8
Torry Holt – STLvs CLE14.63.68.2
Wes Welker – NEvs WAS14.53.88.3
Lee Evans – BUFat NYJ14.43.47.8
Bernard Berrian – CHIvs DET14.23.37.5
Steve Smith – CARvs IND13.94.18.0
Muhsin Muhammad – CHIvs DET13.92.56.4
Roy Williams – DETat CHI13.83.16.9
TJ Houshmandzadeh – CINvs PIT13.83.37.0
Kevin Walter – HOUat SD13.73.87.5
Santonio Holmes – PITat CIN13.13.97.0
Amani Toomer – NYGat MIA13.04.07.0
Brandon Marshall – DENvs GB13.04.57.5
Chris Chambers – SDvs HOU12.93.56.3
Ike Hilliard – TBvs JAC12.64.47.0
Brandon Stokely – DENvs GB12.54.06.6
Donte Stallworth – NEvs WAS12.44.06.4
Calvin Johnson – DETat CHI12.23.55.8
Hines Ward – PITat CIN12.24.46.6
Ronald Curry – OAKat TEN12.13.85.9
Marques Colston – NOat SF12.04.66.6
Jerry Porter – OAKat TEN12.04.36.4
Marvin Harrison – INDat CAR12.04.56.4
Darrell Jackson – SFvs NO11.84.46.2
Joe Jurevicius – CLEat STL11.63.34.9
Andre Davis – HOUat SD11.44.66.0
Mike Furrey – DETat CHI11.24.76.0
Greg Jennings – GBat DEN11.25.16.3
Reggie Brown – PHIat MIN11.14.45.5
Marty Booker – MIAvs NYG11.15.36.4
Donald Driver – GBat DEN11.15.46.5
Joey Galloway – TBvs JAC11.05.16.2
Shaun McDonald – DETat CHI11.03.74.7
Arnaz Battle – SFvs NO10.94.55.4
Vincent Jackson – SDvs HOU10.95.16.0
Troy Williamson – MINvs PHI10.65.56.1
Andre Johnson – HOUat SD10.55.45.9
Dennis Northcutt – JACat TB10.24.75.0
David Patten – NOat SF10.05.35.3
Roydell Williams – TENvs OAK9.95.55.4
Jacoby Jones – HOUat SD9.85.25.0
Roscoe Parrish – BUFat NYJ9.74.34.0
Lance Moore – NOat SF9.75.35.0
Devin Hester – CHIvs DET9.55.14.6
Nate Washington – PITat CIN9.45.04.5
Santana Moss – WASat NE9.46.05.4
Devery Henderson – NOat SF9.36.05.3
Antwaan Randle El – WASat NE9.35.44.7
Derek Hagan – MIAvs NYG9.25.34.5
Malcolm Floyd – SDvs HOU9.24.94.0
Ernest Wilford – JACat TB9.05.64.6
Anthony Gonzalez – INDat CAR8.95.54.4
Ted Ginn – MIAvs NYG8.95.84.7
Reggie Williams – JACat TB8.56.24.8
Tim Carter – CLEat STL8.34.83.1
Buster Davis – SDvs HOU8.05.23.3
James Jones – GBat DEN8.05.83.9
Rashied Davis – CHIvs DET7.75.02.8
Cedrick Wilson – PITat CIN7.76.03.7
Steve Smith – NYGat MIA7.66.13.7
Drew Carter – CARvs IND7.65.83.3
Eric Moulds – TENvs OAK7.56.54.0
Michael Clayton – TBvs JAC7.36.74.0
Jabar Gaffney – NEvs WAS7.16.63.7
Terrance Copper – NOat SF7.16.63.7
Sam Aiken – BUFat NYJ7.05.72.8
Drew Bennett – STLvs CLE7.06.33.3
Isaac Bruce – STLvs CLE6.86.23.0
Bobby Wade – MINvs PHI6.87.13.9
Sidney Rice – MINvs PHI6.77.13.8
James Thrash – WASat NE5.96.62.5
Antonio Chatman – CINvs PIT5.96.72.6
Brandon Lloyd – WASat NE5.56.82.3
Brandon Jones – TENvs OAK5.37.22.5
Dwayne Jarrett – CARvs IND5.37.83.1
Matt Jones – JACat TB4.86.81.6
Javon Walker – DENvs GB3.87.00.8

Kevin Curtis, PHI (15.1 rating): Kevin Curtis burst onto the scene is Week 3 when he caught 11 passes for 221 yards and 3 touchdowns. He has certainly cooled off that pace since then, but he’s still being looked at consistently by Donovan McNabb. He has five catches in each of his last two games. Minnesota’s passing defense has been really bad this season, ranking last in the NFL in passing yards allowed per game. On the turf in Minneapolis, I expect the Eagles will let McNabb air it out. I would not be surprised to see him hook up with Curtis on a couple deep passes.

Joey Galloway, TB (11.0 rating): The 35-year-old Galloway is still going strong for the Buccaneers, but this week he does not have the best of matchups. Galloway will have to contend with a Jaguar defense that has allowed only four passing touchdowns all year, fewest in the NFL. More specifically, he will be matched up with the Jags’ top corner, Rashean Mathis. If you have other options at wide receiver this might be a good week to use them.

Tight EndsOpponentRatingRiskReward
Dallas Clark – INDat CAR15.43.08.4
Antonio Gates – SDvs HOU15.22.98.1
Kellen Winslow – CLEat STL15.02.67.6
Heath Miller – PITat CIN14.63.37.9
Jeremy Shockey – NYGat MIA14.63.48.0
Greg Olsen – CHIvs DET13.23.26.5
Desmond Clark – CHIvs DET13.13.26.3
Chris Cooley – WASat NE12.54.67.0
Chris Baker – NYJvs BUF12.43.76.0
Eric Johnson – NOat SF11.94.26.1
Ben Watson – NEvs WAS11.94.96.8
Tony Scheffler – DENvs GB11.54.45.8
Randy McMichael – STLvs CLE11.34.55.8
Owen Daniels – HOUat SD11.24.15.3
Zach Miller – OAKat TEN11.23.74.9
Vernon Davis – SFvs NO11.14.75.8
Donald Lee – GBat DEN11.05.16.1
Daniel Graham – DENvs GB10.24.54.7
Marcedes Lewis – JACat TB9.85.04.8
LJ Smith – PHIat MIN9.64.94.5
Kyle Brady – NEvs WAS9.65.55.1
Matt Schobel – PHIat MIN9.54.74.2
Matt Spaeth – PITat CIN9.55.55.0
Alex Smith – TBvs JAC9.35.65.0
Robert Royal – BUFat NYJ8.75.64.3
Justin Peelle – MIAvs NYG8.55.94.4
Anthony Becht – TBvs JAC8.56.04.5
Jeff King – CARvs IND8.56.34.8
Bo Scaife – TENvs OAK8.45.94.2
George Wrighster – JACat TB8.35.84.1
Dan Campbell – DETat CHI8.15.83.9
Ben Utecht – INDat CAR8.05.83.8
Reggie Kelly – CINvs PIT8.06.04.0
Jeb Putzier – HOUat SD7.85.73.5
Ben Troupe – TENvs OAK7.06.53.6
Visanthe Shiancoe – MINvs PHI6.87.03.8

Heath Miller, PIT (14.6 rating): Consistency has been Miller’s weakness as fantasy tight end his in first two years in the league (due to the system more than to his own play). But that may finally be changing. Miller is on pace to shatter his career highs for catches, yards, and touchdowns in a season. He has three touchdowns in his last two games, and is in a great position to score once again against a weak Cincinnati pass defense.

Vernon Davis, SF (11.1 rating): The Duke got back on the field last week and had a decent game, hauling in 4 passes (but for only 22 yards). He may be the Niners’ most explosive receiving threat, but they are having quarterbacking problems. Trent Dilfer has not looked good as the starter. Alex Smith may be returning – but how rusty will he be? It would be best to leave Vernon on the bench if possible.

Adam Vinatieri – INDat CAR14.92.87.7
Robbie Gould – CHIvs DET14.13.47.6
Lawrence Tynes – NYGat MIA14.03.07.0
Phil Dawson – CLEat STL14.02.06.0
Jeff Reed – PITat CIN13.92.76.6
Stephen Gostkowski – NEvs WAS13.73.87.4
Rob Bironas – TENvs OAK13.63.67.2
Kris Brown – HOUat SD13.23.87.0
Jeff Wilkins – STLvs CLE12.93.66.5
Nate Kaeding – SDvs HOU12.83.36.1
Jason Hanson – DETat CHI12.74.06.7
David Akers – PHIat MIN12.53.86.3
Mike Nugent – NYJvs BUF12.43.96.2
Jason Elam – DENvs GB12.34.06.4
Shayne Graham – CINvs PIT12.14.76.8
Rian Lindell – BUFat NYJ12.03.55.6
Olindo Mare – NOat SF12.03.85.8
Mason Crosby – GBat DEN12.04.66.5
Matt Bryant – TBvs JAC11.24.75.9
John Kasay – CARvs IND11.24.96.1
Shaun Suisham – WASat NE10.95.05.9
Ryan Longwell – MINvs PHI10.84.35.1
Joe Nedney – SFvs NO10.34.44.8
John Carney – JACat TB10.14.84.9
Sebastian Janikowski – OAKat TEN10.04.84.8
Jay Feely – MIAvs NYG9.65.65.2

Lawrence Tynes, NYG (14.0 rating): So Lawrence Tynes may not be Adam Vinatieri, but as much as I hate to admit it, the Giants are on quite a roll. Not to mention their opponent this week, the reeling Miami Dolphins, have given up the most points per game in the NFL. Tynes would be a great free agent pick up if your kicker is off this week.

Shaun Suisham, WAS (10.9 rating): I think I might have jinxed Swishy when I highlighted him as a “Start” in Week 5. Since that time he has only made one field goal (out of three attempts). Washington’s struggling offense hasn’t helped his numbers. He’s waiver wire material until further notice.

Team DefenseOpponentRatingRiskReward
New York Giantsat MIA14.93.18.0
Tampa Bayvs JAC14.43.17.5
New Englandvs WAS14.13.77.7
Tennesseevs OAK13.83.57.3
Jacksonvilleat TB13.33.97.2
Minnesotavs PHI12.94.17.0
Indianapolisat CAR12.74.47.1
Philadelphiaat MIN12.73.96.6
Buffaloat NYJ12.63.96.5
San Diegovs HOU12.34.36.6
Pittsburghat CIN12.25.27.5
New Orleansat SF12.23.25.4
Chicagovs DET11.95.37.1
Green Bayat DEN11.74.56.1
Denvervs GB11.15.06.1
Clevelandat STL11.03.84.8
Detroitat CHI10.44.64.9
Oaklandat TEN10.24.85.0
New York Jetsvs BUF10.14.44.5
San Franciscovs NO10.14.74.8
Washingtonat NE9.46.96.3
Houstonat SD9.16.05.1
Carolinavs IND8.86.65.5
Miamivs NYG7.17.04.1
St. Louisvs CLE6.96.33.2
Cincinnativs PIT6.86.83.6

Tampa Bay (14.4 rating): The Bucs defense has to be looking forward to their game against Jacksonville. With David Garrard out, the Jaguars will be starting Quinn Gray at quarterback. Gray went 9-24 with two interceptions last week against the Colts. If Tampa Bay can slow down the Jaguars rushing attack they should be able to take advantage of Gray’s inexperience. I wonder if the Jaguars wish they had held onto Leftwich now?

Chicago (11.9 rating): This is not the Bears defense that we have become accustomed to seeing over the past fews years. Injuries to key players have kept them from being the dominant unit that got Chicago to the Superbowl last season. They can still hold their own, but you may have better options. The Lions could put up some points on Chicago this week in Detroit. Kevin Jones and Calvin Johnson both looked to be over their respective injury problems against the Buccaneers in Week 7, which will only help an already dangerous Detroit offense.

Special thanks to SwiperNoSwiping, treat24, dream_017, latraffic, madaslives911, codered7, and WaCougMBS for their rankings and involvement with this week's article. For more insights and additional fine-tuning, visit our Who to Start/Bench forum section or listen to The Coach's Voice on Fantasy Cafe Radio.
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